The history of Abu Dhabi can be traced back as early as 3000 BC. Some years are important for Abu Dhabi history, years 1939, 1958 and 1971. In year 1939 Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Sultan Al Nahyan granted concessions for petroleum. In 1958 Abu Dhabi found oil for the first time and after independence of the United Arab Emirates from British rule in 1971 the city became one of the most progressive and biggest oil suppliers in the world. Big role in the city progression played Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, brother of Sheikh Shakhbut who had futuristic view that exactly the oil could change the face of the Emirates.
Long time ago Abu Dhabi or in literally "Father of gazelle" was known for its desert. Today, it is vibrant city with numerous parks and gardens and innumerable skyscrapers. It is the top destination for celebrities, place of many exhibitions and place that shoppers from various parts of the world visit around the clock every day.
The biggest and the sweetest problem you will have in Abu Dhabi is a decision where to stay and where to eat. Depending on what occasion brigs you to the city you will choose among many five-star luxury hotels starting from golf luxury to business or romantic types of hotels. It would be injustice to isolate one hotel among many beautiful in Abu Dhabi so we will count a few. Beach Rotana Hotel & Tower is situated near to Arabian sea, Al Raha Beach Hotel is a mix of both modern and traditional, Emirates Palace where word "palace" tells everything and Intercontinental Abu Dhabi built on the sand, and many, many other.
Now, when we solved this dilemma, or maybe we did just the opposite and dazzled you, let's go eat. Making decisions with an empty stomach never turns good.
Chicken and fish with flavoured rice and grilled or roast meat are favourite Arabian food. The most famous foods are mezzeh, the starters, and salads. Salads are made from green vegetables mixed with pieces of pita bread, and rice comes with baked chicken and potatoes with cheese. Tabouli is a dish made from bulgur, finely chopped parsley, herbs with lemon juice, olive oil and various seasonings.
Bulgur is a food made from several different wheat species, kibbeh is made from freshly ground lamb and/or beef and of course we don’t need to describe kebab. But, those are just some of the choices. Arab desserts are very sweet and tasty. Muhalabiya is milk pudding served with rose water and pistachios, esh asariya is sweet cheesecake, and umm ali is rich bread pudding.
Inevitable visit Liwa Oasis, the largest oasis in Arabia and Qattarah Oasis located at the edge of Al Ain, smallest than Liwa but surrounded by date palms and fruit orchards. Take a time to visit White Fort, the oldest structures in Abu Dhabi. If you want to see the replicas of the traditional Bedouin houses, tents, palm houses and shops with local product, go to Heritage Village. Attractions as archaeological excavation, caves and hot spring you will find if you visit Jabel Hafit, there are many choices.
Shopping always relaxes. Shopping in Abu Dhabi is something you will not miss. You can visit traditional market, shopping malls and luxury stores in which you will find everything you wish or need, from jewels to clothes to spices, or just little things to remind you to the city. If you "shoot" on shiny things, in Central Market on Sheikh Hamdan Street you will find the best pieces of precious stones.
You may also visit Al Hana Shopping Centre known by designers' shops. The Centre is preferred by wealthy customers mostly because of its remarkable food. Since everybody likes to save same money, visit Al Falah Plaza to see what they offer and maybe rest and drink tasty Arabian coffee.
Things that make Abu Dhabi the most recognizable city are numerous events and exhibitions. We will remind you on few: International Motor Show, Abu Dhabi Shopping Festival, International Jewellery Exhibition and International Book Fair. Perhaps one of these events brings you in Abu Dhabi some of these days. ■